The Chicago Bulls did on Wednesday night what no team has been able to do in nearly two months. Behind 28 points from Luol Deng and a dominant performance from Carlos Boozer, Chicago defeated the Miami Heat, 101-97, ending Miami's winning streak at a remarkable 27 games.
It was the first loss for Miami since a road defeat to the Pacers on Feb. 1.
Chicago took control of this one right away, jumping out to a 13-2 lead. For a while, it looked like the Bulls might run away with it as Deng found his rhythm early with nine first-quarter points.
The Bulls took a nine-point lead into the locker room, but after that, the league's best team started to claw back. Consecutive threes in the middle of the third quarter from Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier gave the Heat the lead, but seven points from Carlos Boozer in the last 4:15 of the quarter ensured Chicago kept the momentum.
With the Bulls up a point heading into the final frame, Deng again took over. He notched 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a three with 7:03 left to answer a Dwyane Wade basket that cut the lead to two.
Boozer finished with 21 points and 17 rebounds, but perhaps none as important as a board he grabbed of a Nate Robinson miss with 57 seconds to go in the game. After a quick dribble, he scored to make it a seven-point game. Deng then stole the ball from LeBron James, and Robinson scored to put the game away.
Wade scored 18 points for the game, and James led Miami with 32 points in the losing effort.
And while Miami's win streak is now snapped, the Bulls have won three in a row and can soon pass Atlanta for fifth in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Heat have a stranglehold on the top spot and have already locked up a Southeast Division title.